Singing in the Car Danger

1:27 PM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
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Something you may find yourself doing more with the holiday music... Singing in the car.

It seems harmless enough... but a new study has some surprising findings.

Doctor Frank McGeorge explains.

do you like to sing along to your favorite songs behind the wheel?

while your performance may be amusing to your fellow drivers... a new study finds it's having a serious effect on your driving abilities... and *not* how you might think.

no matter *how* you sing... or *what* you sing... or even *what language* you sing in... an awful lot of us admit *singing* in the car.

now a new australian study finds singing behind the wheel makes driving seem more *mentally demanding*... and that makes it more difficult for most people to maintain their speed.

Dr. Scott Bea, Clevelad Clinic Psychologist: "Driving performance changes when you're listening to music and singing. You actually tend to slow down. You actually stay more centered in your lane. You become a little bit more careful."

but singing also slightly *reduces* your reaction time... making you *slower* to respond to pedestrians or other hazards.

psychologists say we subconsciously realize how distracting music can be. think about it... when you're driving in hard rain or lots of snow... what's the first thing you tend to do? reach over and turn off the radio.

Dr. Scott Bea, Clevelad Clinic Psychologist:"That's smart and maybe as a culture we need to do that a little bit more. Particularly in driving conditions where there are lots of pedestrians, potential distractions, those sorts of things."

The bottom line... when we're driving, we really need to just drive. Save the drum solo for the stop lights.. or better yet, your driveway.

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